Amami Oshima

 ――Enjoying Serendipity, Pilgrimage and Requiem

    [English version: with Persian translation]  (Newly published in October 2023)

    Editor: Marcion's Box
    Publication plannerr: Reinolds Matsuda

  ■Bookstore sales: None→Original Text

  ■POD book: 1320 (tax included/A4 size full color 80 pages ISBN978-4-910056-60-9
   First published on October 10, 2023 →Click here to purchase on Amazon

  ■E-book: ¥1320 (tax included/varies depending on the bookstore site)
   First published on October 10, 2023 →Click here to purchase on Amazon

  ※Please purchase at bookstores nationwide or at the retailer listed on the top page.
   The price is our suggested sales price.
   Selling prices may change due to campaigns at each bookstore (unlimited reading, discounts, etc.).
 ◎About this book/本書について
  An English version of a travelogue full of color photographs (with Persian translation) that explores the unknown culture and unexplored region of Amami Oshima, a subtropical island in Japan, through a combination of pilgrimage and repose of souls.

This is a record of the group [Marcion's Box], which travels to shrines and temples all over Japan, exploring the unknown culture and unexplored region of Amami Oshima, a subtropical island in Japan that has just arrived in early summer. Encounter with the strong people who live on the island, which lives on the history and cultural customs of the island, which experienced the rule of the Satsuma domain in the Edo period and the American military after the war. The tradition of singing and the life of gay bar moms. This is a pilgrimage that you cannot experience on a regular trip, such as the ecology of habu as a famous guardian deity of Amami Oshima, a national sanatorium that tells the negative history of people suffering from leprosy, and the feelings of Kazumura Tanaka, who is known as Japan's Gauguin who loved Amami. An English version (with Persian translation) of a travelogue full of color photos that conveys the culture and unexplored region of Amami Oshima through requiems. This bilingual translated book was created by the translator (Reinoldx Matsuda) to help people from the Christian world (English) and the Muslim world (Persian) learn about the nature and culture of Japan, Amami Oshima, through the same book. Something I hope you can share. This is an attempt to realize world peace.
日本各地の神社仏閣を巡る旅をしているグループ[Marcionの匣]が、初夏の訪れまもない日本のなかの亜熱帯、奄美大島の知られざる文化と秘境を探訪した記録。江戸時代の薩摩藩の支配、戦後のアメリカ軍の支配を経験した島の歴史と文化風習に息づく、島に生きるたくましい人々との出会い――教会での洗礼やノロ神様とユタ神様の存在、シマ唄の伝統とゲイバーママの生きざま。奄美大島で有名な守り神としてのハブの生態、ハンセン病者の負の歴史を伝える国立療養所、奄美を愛した日本のゴーギャンとして知られる田中一村への想いなど、通常の旅では体験できない巡礼と鎮魂によって奄美大島の文化と秘境を伝えるカラー写真満載の旅行記の英語版(ペルシャ語対訳付き)。この二か国語併記の翻訳本は、翻訳版企画者(Reinoldx Matsuda) が、英語のキリスト教圏とペルシャ語のイスラム教圏の人々が、同一の書籍を通じて共に奄美大島という日本の自然と文化を共有できることを願ってのもの。世界平和実現の一つの試みである。


◇Editor profile
Marcion's Box: "Marchion's Box" is a group that travels around Japan to visit shrines and temples while eating delicious food."Marcion" is the name of a religious figure who was active around the 2nd century and who challenged the Christian interpretation of Jesus at the time. We will not only enjoy it, but we will also place our small objections to the current state of shrines and temples, and the repose of the souls of those who have supported Japan and died, and will place them in this box. Why is it called a ``box'' and not a ``box''? Hako means a small box with a lid that can be hidden like a turtle shell. Shrines and temples may appear to be sacred, but they also have a hidden history of being used to soothe the souls of those who were massacred. I would like to dig deep into history and express my gratitude to those who have become the foundation of our current prosperity. Behind the delicious food may be the tears of our ancestors. This is a group that wants to enjoy it to the fullest.

◇Publication plannerr profile
Reinolds Matsuda:Photographer and line drawing artist born in the new human generation. He created many innovative works based on serendipity. He continues to question the world about the hidden beauty behind phenomena.
松田 レイノルズ:新人類世代として生まれた写真家、フォトマニピュレーションアーティスト。セレンディピティな発想による革新的な作品を多数創作。現象の裏側にある秘められた美しさを、世界に問い続けている。

●CONTENTS (English only)
PROLOGUE A subtropical zone in Japan—Amami Oshima
◎―A warm and humid group of islands in the path of the Kuroshio Current
◎―To get to Amami Oshima Island, you can fly or take a ferry.
Chapter 1: Amami Oshima–an island twice colonized 
◎―Our travel themes are “Enjoying Serendipity” and “Pilgrimage and Requiem”
◎―Edo period: Ruled by the Satsuma clan and subjected to slave labor
◎―Showa period: Occupied and ruled by the U.S. after World War II
Chapter 2: A prayer for safe travel at Haneda Aviation Shrine 
◎―The trip begins with a visit to Haneda Aviation Shrine.
◎―The rainy season had begun, but it was sunny in Amami! 
◎―No trains in Amami
◎―“Sightseeing taxis” come highly recommended
◎—Rentomg three American cars
Chapter 3: Amami’s nature—Tebiro Beach is a surfers' heaven
◎—A dramatic coast where rivers appear at low tide
◎― “Heart Rock is submerged!”
Chapter 4: The Amami church is friendly 
◎―Amami is a spiritual island
◎―Experiencing “vicarious baptism” at the church
◎―Religious experiences cannot be explained with words
◎―The Noro and Yuta shamans
◎―Close your eyes tightly and you will see the answer
◎―What to bring as a gift to a Yuta: salt and alcohol
Chapter 5: Enjoying a live performance of shima-uta songs at an izakaya
◎―Naorai is a shima-uta (island song) izakaya
◎―The drumming and dancing begin, with everyone inside participating
Chapter 6: Offering requiem prayers at a national sanatorium 
◎―A visit to National Sanatorium Amami Wakoen
◎―The reality is completely different—depending on the park, of course
Chapter 7: Canoeing in Subtropical Mangroves 
◎―Mangroves are a group of plants forming a forest that grow in areas where seawater and freshwater meet…
◎―Struggling in a one-person canoe
Chapter 8: Habu is the guardian god of Amami 
◎―Viewing habu snakes at Amami Kanko Habu Center
◎―Habu-hunting and habu atari strengthen the unity of the community
◎―Watching the epic battle between a habu snake and a mongoose (on DVD)
◎―We tasted Habu Ramen
◎―“OH! Kama BAR” is a gay bar where patrons chat with K-mama
◎ -- A story about three soldiers who needed help
Chapter 9: Back to Heart Rock 
◎―Through a tunnel of tropical plants where we might find habu snakes, and straight to the sea
◎--There it is, Heart Rock!
Chapter 10: Tanaka Isson Memorial Museum of Art
◎―Exhibition of Tanaka Isson's paintings from the times he lived in Tokyo, Chiba, and Amami
◎―Isson came to Amami looking for a new direction
◎―Ending the trip by taking a commemorative photo in a sugarcane field
EPILOGUE: Toward a New Tomorrow  
◎―A return visit to Haneda Aviation Shrine to give thanks for the trip

◇Purpose of publication of this book
In mid-May of 2020, when signs of early summer began to appear, a call was made for tours to Amami Oshima. Despite the urgent plans, seven people with no prior connections gathered and enjoyed a three-day trip that included pilgrimage, memorial service, and deepening interactions with the people of the island. A member of the group wrote a travelogue about this strange gathering, which was hurriedly published in August.
I'm not God. They are human beings wrapped in one body. For a solid body, there is always only one choice of spacetime. If you were to ask me why I chose Amami Oshima at that time, the only answer I could give would be ``connections.'' It seems like you can choose your ``relationships,'' but it's not something you can choose for yourself. There is no choice between bad and good relationships. It's like a strange fate. Seven people came to join me on this trip because of this connection. This is nothing more than a "relationship".
Next, ask yourself why you are conscious of it. A mediocre answer came back. This is the longing for peace that everyone desires. I believe that one thing I can do to achieve this is through pilgrimage and memorial service. Although it is not limited to Amami Oshima, I hear that the islands near this sea have an unbearable history. It may be presumptuous, but if I can, I would like to share some of it and purify it with sincerity and prayer. I am calling on all of you because I can only do so much on my own.
Another reason why I chose Amami Oshima is because I wanted to expand my own understanding and foster a spirit of tolerance (love) through experiencing nature and the culture and way of life of the people who live there.
To that effect, ``Amami Oshima'' was published by a member of the group.


◇Purpose of publication of English version (with Persian translation)
Now, we have decided to publish the English and Persian versions of this book.
Let me explain why we decided to create an English version, and why we also included a Persian translation.
This book is not a general tourist guide book for Amami Oshima, but it plays the role of a tourist guide in a deep cultural sense. Considering this purpose, we thought that it would be well received by English-speaking tourists as a deep aspect of Japanese culture and nature. So why did you include a parallel translation in Persian?
I thought about it from the aspects of religion and culture.
Japan is an island nation of Shinto and Buddhism. Animistic primitive Shintoism is still alive on Amami Oshima.
Christianity is the main religion in English-speaking countries. There are surprisingly many churches on Amami Oshima.
I have heard that Islamic teachings are the main religion in Persian speaking countries.
If you look around the history of the world, there have been constant conflicts between ethnic groups and nations due to religious conflicts. Isn't the spirit of religion originally a teaching that sublimates conflicts between people and allows people to live in harmony and peace of mind? However, if we look at history, it is clear that conflicts and conflicts have deepened due to religious differences.
I'm sure that Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad never wanted such a thing.
Why do we fight? No matter how many times we ask this question, we cannot find an answer or a solution.
Religions, sects, ethnic groups, and nations have different reasons for fighting, but there is no need to fight over language.
The reason why we included English, which represents the Christian world, and Persian, which represents the Muslim world, as parallel translations is because we believe that through languages that can coexist, we can share the charm and pleasure of Amami Oshima, a deep spot in Japan. . There is no conflict or conflict. The beautiful scenery of Amami Oshima, where nature and people live together, joyful, sad, and pray, just comes to mind. Both English-speaking people and Muslim-speaking people... If such a situation were to occur, what words would you use to express it?
There is an anecdote like this.
There was a cellist named Pablo Casals (1876-1973) who was born in the Catalonia region of Spain. He is a great musician known for discovering Bach's unaccompanied cello suites and spreading this masterpiece around the world. On October 24, 1971, at the age of 94, Casals, living in exile in the United States, performed ``Bird Song'' at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. At the time of this performance, Casals addressed the audience with the following meaning.
``Birds in my native Catalonia sing peace, peace, peace.''
Reinolds Matsuda

 世界の歴史を見渡せば、宗教的な対立によって、民族や国家同士の争いが絶えない。本来、宗教の精神とは、人と人との争いを昇華し、人と人とが和合して安心して生存できるための教えではなかったろうか? ところが、歴史を見れば歴然だが、宗教の違いによって、逆に争いや対立が深まっている。
 スペインのカタルーニャ地方で生まれた、パブロ・カザルス(Pablo Casals、1876-1973)というチェリストがいた。バッハの無伴奏チェロ組曲を発掘し、この名曲を世界中に広めたことで知られる偉大なる音楽家である。アメリカ亡命中のカザルスが94歳の1971年10月24日、ニューヨーク国連本部で『鳥の歌』を演奏した。この演奏に際してカザルスは、聴衆に向かってこう、含みをもたせて語りかけた。
Reinolds Matsuda